新年快樂! Happy Lunar New Year from My China Roots! 🌿🐉

2024 is the Year of the Wood Dragon, a symbol of honor, growth, and creativity.

Twelve years ago, My China Roots was founded with the dream of making family history as accessible as possible, so that all generations may flourish.

Now, one full cycle of the dragon later, we are thrilled to pioneer the world’s top digital ecosystem for Chinese heritage discovery in partnership with genealogy societies, libraries, and universities around the world.

Going into 2024, here are three innovative ways you can discover the missing puzzle pieces of your Chinese family history. Give them a try, and let us know your thoughts at support@mychinaroots.com. We love exploring better ways to bridge our past, present, and future together!

1. Build your family tree and get matching records

Which ancestors and relatives are you most curious about? With our free Family Tree Builder, simply add their information to your family tree, then let our Hints Discovery feature automatically notify you of possible matching records in the My China Roots Database.

💡 Tip: Chinese ancestors often went by many different aliases, especially variations in the romanized spellings of their original Chinese names. The more bilingual names, places, and dates you add for each ancestor, the higher your chance of finding successfully matching records as the My China Roots Database rapidly continues to grow.

In 2023, we added 1.5 million records of Chinese ancestors – with an extra 2 million records on track to be added this year. If you’d like to gain full access to all records and support our digitization efforts, give our Detective Membership a try – now on sale for Chinese New Year with a second year free!

2. Return to your ancestral village in China

Traveling on a “roots trip” back to your ancestral homeland continues to be one of the most transformative pathways to connect deeply with your roots.

Research-wise, you may find family tree books (zupu or jiapu), graves, temples, homes your family lived in, and oral histories about your family’s legacy.

Experientially, it’s an opportunity to go beyond a museum visit and fully immerse yourself in the history of you. Walking where your ancestors walked, eating what they ate – you get to relive their journey and forge your own connection with your homeland. You may even reunite with distant relatives who warmly welcome you back to your ancestral home.

There’s no one way to embark on a roots trip. You could go by yourself, or rally your whole family to return with you, like Brian Wong. As the founder of RADII China, “The Tao of Alibaba” author, and Committee of 100 member, he has lived and engaged deeply in China for decades. However, it wasn’t until this past December, when we brought three generations of his extended family back to their ancestral village, that he felt his roots have finally come full circle.

“This trip has become a catalyst for my family to feel our connection between the past and present. When they saw the photo of our grandparents on the wall, it really hit them. How our world is interconnected. How we should not take for granted what we have. This perspective to look from the outside and ‘be the other’ is the best gift I can give to my kids.” (Brian Wong, center left, smiling behind his father)

In addition, you can organize a roots trip with your friends. In partnership with Adoptiepedia, this year we helped a group of Dutch adoptees travel back to Jiangxi together. To their surprise and delight, one adoptee was successfully able to reunite with her biological twin sister and parents. It was an emotionally cathartic experience for the whole group to be there to celebrate and support each other on this life-changing journey.

Whatever your dream roots trip looks like to you, our team is here to guide you all the way. To learn what’s possible, book a free discovery call by February 24, 2024 and save 20% on all travel and research services!

Paula (right) and her twin sister Yiling (left) finally reunited in China after 23 years apart due to the One Child Policy. (Photo by Cindy Huijgen)

3. Make family history breakthroughs in community

From village clans to benevolent associations, our immigrant ancestors survived by creating mutual aid networks to help each other flourish. Likewise, we encourage you to join the My China Roots community on Discord – a free, online, intergenerational village of budding family historians across the Chinese diaspora.

If you feel stuck, don’t hesitate to ask for peer support. You could post a photo of that tombstone with Chinese characters you need help translating. Or ask for advice on how to interview your grandparents so they feel safe to revisit the past. You could share a family recipe or questions about your cultural identity. You could even crowdsource Chinese names for your newborn child!

Warm congratulations to our community moderator, Kathryn. Thank you for trusting us to help you name your son, 赵崇熙. He will forever be cherished by our My China Roots family!

As you can see, there are countless ways to connect more deeply with your roots. No matter where you are on your journey, we are here to support you.

Be sure to subscribe to our email newsletter and follow @mychinaroots on Eventbrite and social media to stay updated on free workshops and resources all year round!

Search millions of records for your Chinese ancestors

If you are interested in returning to your ancestral village in China, we would love to help. For over a decade, our team of genealogy researchers have guided countless families to reconnect with long-lost stories and relatives. Get in touch to start planning your roots trip together!

Chrislyn Choo

Chrislyn is a US-born artist with roots in China and Malaysia. When she's not documenting life stories, you can find her drooling over family recipes and hosting community gatherings.

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